Food Labelling

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Brexit and food labelling Part 1

4th June 2020

Brexit and food labelling Part 1

Whether it be country of origin labelling, use of EU logos, or specifications around a food business operator’s name and address, Brexit is shaking up how manufacturers label their food and beverage products.



You can read the full article HERE


Food Labelling Services comments:

After the UK left the European Union on 1st January 2020, we entered a transition period where EU laws continue to apply until 31st December 2020. After this, some 'EU law' will be transcribed into UK law, which will include food labelling and health and nutrition claims.

However, there are some changes that take immediate effect from 1st January 2021. These are:

Exporting to the EU: 

Food products placed on the EU market before 1 January 2021 can continue to be sold, distributed or transferred in the EU without labelling changes. In EU law, ‘placed on the EU market’ means they’re:

  • held in the EU for the purpose of sale, including offering for sale or any other form of transfer, whether free of charge or not
  • sold, distributed or transferred to the EU in another way


Food Business Address:

If the product is to be traded in the EU, from January 1st 2021 an EU address for a manufacturer, packer, distributor, importer or vendor will be required in addition to the address in the UK.


EU Organic Logo:

You must not use the EU organics logo from 1 January 2021 unless:

  • your UK control body is authorised by the EU to certify UK goods for export to the EU
  • the UK and the EU agree to recognise each other’s standards (called ‘equivalency’)

Contact your control body to stay up to date.

If the UK does not reach an equivalency deal with the EU, you cannot export organic food or feed from the UK to the EU.

You can continue to use your UK organic body control logo


EU Emblem:

If a producer has had the benefit of EU funding and has declared an EU emblem, this will have to be removed from packaging.

Country of Origin Labelling (COO):

After exit day, UK food should not be labelled with an origin of “EU”. This is especially relevant from April 2020, after which the country / place of origin of the primary ingredient of a food must be stated on labels.

Where a product has mixed origin such as minced meat, made with UK and EU meat, the product should be labelled as “a mix of UK and non-UK origin”. The same would apply for fruit, vegetables, blended honey and oils.

Beef and veal born, reared or slaughtered outside of the UK must state its origin as “Non-UK”.

Eggs from non-EU countries which do not meet UK egg trade standards should be marked as “Non-UK standard”; previously this would be marked as “Non-EC standard”.


Health and Identification Marks:

The current EC health and identification marks applied to POAO produced in the UK should continue to be used until the end of the transition period, 31 December 2020. New marks should not be used before 1 January 2021.

From 1 January 2021, competent authorities and food businesses in the UK will not be able to apply the current ‘EC’ health and identification marks to certain POAO which have been produced in a UK-approved establishment.

This means a revised form of the health and identifications marks will need to be used from 1 January 2021 onwards for certain POAO produced in the UK and placed on the UK, EU and non- EU country markets.


Geographical Indications:

Products produced under geographic indication protection must be labelled with a UK GI label. DEFRA have confirmed that the UK will set up its own GI labelling system in the case of a no deal Brexit.


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